Fleetwood Mac review: Multitudes held in harmonic thrall

35,000 voices roaring as one.
35,000 voices roaring as one.

Relationship issues, personal turmoil . . . and that's just some of the audience.

No, but seriously.

Last night, at Dunedin's Forsyth Barr Stadium, Fleetwood Mac added further resonance to songs that long ago escaped the confines of urban cool and found a home amid millions of suburban lounges.

Having honed the template for soft-rock singalongs and a radio-friendly slickness belying the hurt and heartbreak often integral to a tune's genesis, the group reminded all that the distance between stage and stadium seats is best spanned by a combination of honest communication and energy.

That was best personified by guitarist-singer Lindsey Buckingham, who led the band in many respects.

Certainly, he, Mick Fleetwood, John McVie, Stevie Nicks and Christine McVie, all responsible for groundbreaking 1977 album Rumours, lived up to the title of their tour, ''On With The Show'', performing for more than two and a-half hours.

The excellent, slightly unhinged guitar solos of Buckingham and the drumming flurries of the seemingly octopedal Fleetwood notwithstanding, the band's best moments came by way of those famous vocal harmonies, even if their musical machine took a few songs to get warm on a night less about rock chic as rugged-up sensibility.

Nicks' rendition of the laidback Sara was one highlight, as was Rhiannon (even if it began slightly sluggishly) and impeccable versions of mega-hits Little Lies and Go Your Own Way (the latter prompting one youngish man to gain the stage only to be promptly removed) and a Nicks-Buckingham duet, Landslide, which they dedicated to the late Jonah Lomu and the All Blacks.

The title of Don't Stop (Thinking About Tomorrow) and its words (''yesterday's gone, yesterday's gone . . .'') might suggest it's better to look forward than back.

Thus, let's not salute this band's staying power, but rather the power these musicians hold when they inhabit the moment.

Among the echoes of a set-list to die for?

About 35,000 voices roaring as one.

 

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